You are here

SBK, Bautista: "Proud of my race, but I'm not one with the bike"

"I don't feel I'm at my best yet, I don't have the feeling and performance I had in the past. The penalty? I slowed down to let Rinaldi and Iannone pass, but I didn't bother anyone."

SBK: Bautista:

He may not have won the race as he has in past years, but Alvaro Bautista once again proved that he can make a difference at the Montmeló track. Starting from the 14th position after a three-position penalty received before the start, the Spanish champion managed to climb up to the lowest step of the podium in Race 1, finishing 5"3 from the winner. A good result in light of the complicated qualifying experienced by Bautista, who, however, does not hide a hint of regret for the penalty he received.

"There was no one on the track, they were all in the pits. I went out with Rinaldi, Iannone and Rabat and slowed down to let Iannone and Rinaldi go - explained Alvaro - After that I started to push and crossed the line ahead of Rinaldi, who was not penalized. I only encountered Bulega, who was not on a fast lap, and I was not in the line. I slowed down under the percentage allowed the regulation, but I didn't disturb anyone. I was penalized three positions and finished third. If we count the positions... (laughs)."

It's hard to say how much the penalty affected the final result, but the Racing - Ducati team rider would obviously have preferred to start as far ahead as possible.

"How much would have changed without the penalty? You can never know. I don't think it would have changed anything, but let's say I would have definitely been further ahead if I had started in the front row , and that would have been good ," commented the 39-year-old, before talking about the difficulties encountered by starting in the middle of the group: "I tried to keep the same pace all the time. It wasn't my strategy, but this is a very tough track for tires, so at the beginning I tried to pass as many drivers as possible without pushing, so I wouldn't have problems in the last laps. I tried not to force too much with the tires and to overtake at the points where I felt safest, because now it is more complicated for me to overtake in the straights. In the end, I just tried to make it to the finish line, also because I had to make some saves while I was behind the other drivers, since I had no more grip on the front due to the pressure building up. Being behind is more risky than starting in front, where you have fresh air, you can follow your lines and the tires work well."

Although the two-time SBK champion still managed to make it all the way to the podium, he is keen to point out that he still does not feel at hisbest on his Ducati.

"I'm proud of my race but, although the feeling I had today was similar to yesterday, we couldn't take another step in that direction. I 'm happy, but at the moment I don't feel I'm at my best yet. What I want is the feeling with the bike, and right now I don't have the same feeling I had last season. I can't do what I want with the bike and that's what worries me, not the position or the performance," admitted Alvaro.

This was precisely the reason why the Ducatista was unable to be as incisive in qualifying as he was in the past.

"I matched my best time here, while the others went faster. I made a couple of mistakes in the last sector on my best lap, but even without those I think I would have been 7th or 8th because we were all very close in that area ," he noted, " It's definitely not the performance I had in the past. I still don't feel I'm one with the bike. I want one thing and she wants another, so we have to keep working together in the same direction. I honestly don't know why that is, but I don't think it depends on the weight. When we understand why and I have the confidence to push, the improvement will be bigger."

A step forward he hopes to make as early as tomorrow in the short race, which will see him start from 11th on the grid.

"I don't have a strategy for the Superpole Race: SCQ and full throttle! (laughs). We will have to see the weather because it looks like it will be cooler," he concluded, "In testing I did 14 laps with the SCQ on the low average 1'41" pace, but tomorrow will be different.

Automatic Translation by DeepL

Related articles